UConn Health Introduces Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Dr. C.B. Sai Sudhakar brings experience building cardiothoracic surgery programs to expand UConn Health’s academic and clinical offerings in the discipline.

Dr. C.B. Sai Sudhakar portrait, white coat

Dr. Chittoor Bhaskar Sai Sudhakar is the incoming chief of cardiothoracic surgery at UConn Health. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health photo)

An experienced cardiothoracic surgeon arrives this month with a vision of taking UConn Health’s capabilities in this specialty to new heights.

Dr. C.B. Sai Sudhakar comes from the Largo Medical Center, part of HCA Healthcare’s West Florida Division, to become UConn Health’s chief of cardiothoracic surgery.

We should be able to perform 99.9% of the cases at UConn Health. — Dr. C.B. Sai Sudhakar

“This will be an opportunity to build an academic program, with its components of education, research, and clinical excellence,” Sai Sudhakar says.

UConn Health historically has been among the smaller programs in heart surgery. Sai Sudhakar says while he intends to maintain and even increase the academic and community collaborations, the goal is for UConn Health to handle nearly all clinical cases, as he describes it, “everything apart from a patient needing a heart transplant. We should be able to perform 99.9% of the cases at UConn Health.”

Examples of the kinds of procedures to be done at UConn Health include minimally invasive aortic valve replacement, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, thoracic endovascular grafting, coronary artery bypass grafting, mitral valve repair or replacement, aortic dissections, complex reoperations, and pulmonary embolectomy.

“Dr. Sai Sudhakar brings a wealth of experience and is the ideal person to lead the elevation of our cardiothoracic surgery program,” says Dr. David McFadden, chair of the UConn Health Department of Surgery.

Sai Sudhakar has served as chief of cardiac surgery and co-director of the Heart Institute at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, chief and professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Texas, and assistant professor at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

His primary areas of research interest include pulmonary hypertension secondary to left heart failure, mechanical circulatory support devices, heart transplantation, and heart failure secondary to SARS-COVID-19. Sai Sudhakar says he’s looking forward to collaborating with other faculty members in UConn Health’s Department of Surgery and the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, as well as The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine.

“With Dr. Sai Sudhakar arriving, we are on the verge of some every exciting advances in cardiothoracic surgery, not only in what we can offer our patients here, but also in the training of future generations of cardiothoracic surgeons,” says Dr. Bruce Liang, Calhoun Cardiology Center chair and dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

Another of Sai Sudhakar’s objectives is to establish a UConn cardiothoracic fellowship program by 2023.

He starts at UConn Health Aug. 27.

Learn more about the UConn Health Department of Surgery.

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